Frustrated Louisiana GOP lawmaker shelves tax overhaul plan

Kelly Massey
June 3, 2017

"The House simply listened to the citizens of Louisiana and refused to raise taxes again", John Kay, Louisiana state director of Americans for Prosperity, said in a statement.

House leaders are talking confidently about reaching a budget deal to keep lawmakers out of a special session.

A Senate panel took the wraps off their version of the state's budget.

The Senate plan uses $206 million the House planned to set aside.

"I'm struggling with fully funding TOPS at the expense of health care, especially mental health", Barrow said.

In addition to supporting the recommendations of a bipartisan task force created by the legislature, which spent more than 125 hours studying the state's budgeting practices and how to reform Louisiana's broken tax and budget structure, Gov. Edwards offered a comprehensive plan to the legislature as an alternative to the task force recommendations.

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Edwards and state agency leaders said without that money, prisoners would be released early, health programs would shutter and critical services would be damaged. "It'll be a tough place to start". Otherwise, the special session can run through midnight June 19.

After his latest tax bill failed in the House, Ivey said he doesn't intend to try to revive the proposals.

Ivey has been unable to gain the votes for much of his legislation in a majority-Republican House that has been reticent to support anything that tweaks state tax policy, particularly if it might raise new dollars for the treasury.

Naquin said support topped out at 60 "yes" votes on Tuesday night, an unlikely alliance of Republicans from Baton Rouge and other congested areas, some members of the Legislative Black Caucus and a smattering of other Democrats.

Supporters of the tax increase, Republican and Democrat, applauded his effort and vented their disappointment on the House floor. The Legislature can not raise revenue in the special session, either. Sharon Hewitt (R-Slidell) "We're going to work hard over the next seven days to get this budget done".

Four items will be considered during this special session. Edwards is expected to call a special session on taxes sometime before temporary taxes expire on June 30, 2018, and blow a $1 billion-plus gap in the budget.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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